Welfare cuts unveiled
Australians on JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments will have their money cut in coming months.
The Federal Government has announced that the JobKeeper wage subsidy will continue until March next year, but the payments will be cut from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight after September, then down to $1,000 a fortnight for the first three months of 2021.
People working fewer than 20 hours a week on JobKeeper will receive $750 a fortnight from September, before being cut again to $650 a fortnight for the first three months of 2021.
The JobSeeker coronavirus supplement has been extended for another three months but has been cut from $550 to $250 a fortnight after September. People on the program will then receive just $815 a fortnight.
More than 5 million Australians are on either the JobKeeper or JobSeeker programs.
JobKeeper is being paid to 960,000 employers, who must pass the full payment onto 3.5 million workers.
The changes will require businesses to prove they are still in financial distress (a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more) each quarter, to remain eligible for the program after September.
The Government believes that about 1.4 million people will be on JobKeeper in the final three months of this year, and just 1 million people will still rely on it in the first quarter of next year.
The Prime Minister has been keen to ensure that giving people money to live in a house and eat food does not spoil them.
“JobSeeker and JobKeeper are not do-nothing payments,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week.
“JobSeeker and JobKeeper are payments that support people's incomes but are not designed to prevent them from going out and seeking work.”
The revisions to JobSeeker will also allow recipients to earn up to $300 a fortnight before it is taken off their Government payment.
The Prime Minister said he expects that some form of JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will be continued into 2021.
Some of the JobSeeker requirements have been lifted too, so recipients will have to apply for more jobs than required earlier in the pandemic, and could be cut off if they refuse to take a job.
“So, if there is a job to be taken and a job that is being offered, then it is an obligation, a mutual obligation, for those who are on JobSeeker to take those jobs where they're on offer,” Mr Morrison said.